Jefre Cantu-Ledesma is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and co-founder of the Root Strata record label based out of San Francisco, California.
Cantu-Ledesma got his start by co-founding the band Tarentel in 2005, with which he has produced albums and toured the US, Europe and Japan. He began to make solo music in 2000, under the Colophon moniker, releasing Love Loops in 2003. Cantu-Ledesma then went on to found Root Strata in 2004, a label that is highly regarded by the drone/ambient community and has an extensive catalog that includes artists such as Grouper, Oneohtrix Point Never, Yellow Swans, My Cat is An Alien and more.
His solo career under his own name first garnered attention with the elusive "Shining Skull Breath", originally released on Students of Decay in 2007 as a small run of CD-Rs and re-cast on vinyl by the same label in 2011 with an addition of two previously-unpublished tracks. Described by Boomkat as “…one of Jefre’s definitive solo statements outside of his work with The Alps and Tarentel, immersing the listener in an ecology of shoegaze pop drones where ambient atmospheres and elemental noise define the climate”, Cantu-Ledesma has managed to stay away from the tired, melancholy ballads imitated by countless bands when the shoegaze phenomenon re-erupted, instead exploring more hopeful territory via harmonic excess and abstraction.
Before the re-edition of "Shining Skull Breath", Cantu-Ledesma also released a gorgeous album in 2010 on The Alps’s home label, Type. As reflected by the album title, "Love Is a Stream" is dedicated to love. It traps the ear within the white noise of shimmering drone textures and grit before the listener can penetrate the sonic dust in order to gradually sink into the hidden guitar and synthesizer parts that ebb and swell from Ledesma’s musical underworld. Such delicate, barely-perceptible specters belie the eerie, mesmerizing quality of all of Cantu-Ledesma’s music.
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